Mernda Rail Extension Community Information Session

I dropped into the Mernda Rail Community Information Session late this morning after my daughters swimming lesson and caught the last 20-30 minutes.

The information on hand, while conceptual, gave everyone a very good idea of what was trying to be achieved and some of the high level details. On show were large longitudinal plans showing layouts of the train lines, stations and associated surrounding amenities such as car parking, parkiteers etc. The Level Crossing Authority also had some samples of the rock they had pulled out during the hundreds of bore holes.

From todays session there were some locked in facts and some items that are still up for debate:

A snapshot of some details of the Proposed Mernda Station

A snapshot of some details of the Proposed Mernda Station

    1. McDonalds Rd grade separation to be road over rail at current gradient.
    2. Maymeade Station will be built over Hawkestowe. The local community obsession with car parking at stations lead to Marymeade being selected. Hawkestowe was a much better station but there isn’t the room to accommodate the same amount of cars at Hawkestowe. In fact the differential ratio is 5:1.
    3. Plenty Rd grade separation to be road over rail at current gradient.
    4. Hawkestowe Parade grade separation is not decided yet and will be driven by the eventual decision about the future construction of Hawkestowe Station. If the future station is to be elevated then the grade separation will be rail over road at an elevated gradient. If the station is to be underground in the future the grade separation will be road over rail at current gradient.
    5. Elevated Rail over The Parkway and adjacent Simons Creek.
    6. Mernda Station and grade separation of Bridge Inn Road is still to be decided and will be either elevated or trenched.

Personally I am not overly fussed about elevated rail. Having a construction background and knowing the geology of the area it seems logical to build as much of the train line elevated or on grade as possible. Not only will it be cheaper but it will be quicker to construction which means Mernda & Doreen residents will be catching their train sooner rather than later.

Overall I did have three concerns:

Bridge pylons appear to restrict the future duplication of Bridge Inn road.

Bridge pylons appear to restrict the future duplication of Bridge Inn road.

    1. The bus bay location at Mernda train station is on located on land that will need to be acquired. The notations on the plans had the access road to the bays to be built by others. I was assured this wasn’t the case when I asked.
    2. There was a perceived lack of land use under an elevated Mernda Train station. If you are going to elevate the rail line to provide better connections and amenity below the line, build it.
    3. Bridge Inn Road is a major East-West connection, in fact it is super critical. The elevated pylons appear to restrict the road to being a single lane flow each way. The plan is duplicate the road so that it two lanes each way. I’d like to see that constructed now, with turning lanes into the relevant side streets etc. This way there is minimal disruption to the train station access points.

Anyway there are some more in depth pictures in this album over at the “Extend the Rail Line to Mernda” facebook group.

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2 Responses to “Mernda Rail Extension Community Information Session”

  1. Alex Csar says:

    Given that any widening of Bridge Inn Road would be on the southern side (due to existing homes on the northern side), what seems to be envisaged is having a new westbound carriageway passing under the next span to the south. That span appears to be the same length as the one across an un-widened Bridge Inn Road, and is wider than spans further south. The end result will be a pier in the median.

    Further widening of Bridge Inn Road won’t be required until Mernda Town Centre gets built out – whether that gets done when the line is built or at a later date will depend on the timing of the development of the town centre. It could be done in advance of the town centre, but that will be a decision for either VicRoads or City of Whittlesea.

    • Matt says:

      Very true, hadn’t thought about doing the Bridge Inn widening that way, however if that is the plan I would like to see that part duplicated during the construction of the train line, even if it rolls back into single lane it just means very little disruption in the future when the road is eventually duplicated. It’s not a hugely expensive exercise to duplicate that small section either, back of envelope I have it at about $2-3m additional cost.

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